Project GRACE assistance programs.

There are a few core services offered directly by Project GRACE or that are generally available in the form of referrals. While the resources are limited, first and foremost they will be trying to assist those families that are facing a short term crisis, but that are otherwise well on their way to self-sufficiency. They operate under the concept of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Even if the staff from the charity can’t meet the client’s request, then they may offer linkage to other agencies in the region that can help.

Most of the resources are available from the resource center in Portland Maine. This location includes everything from a thrift store to food pantry. This is where a combination of staff and volunteers are based from. From the center, qualified residents can receive information or applications to a number of benefit programs.

The thrift store has a diverse collection of items for sale to the general public. It is open to anyone in the community, whether the client is low income or well off. Families can purchase a wide assortment of goods at the store, but what is for sale will depend heavily on donations. Since Project GRACE does rely on donations from the public, what is available for sale changes monthly, if not even daily. It will even depend on the season, such as whether cold weather attire is for sale or not.

The location that is run by the charity helps hundreds of families each year obtain the clothing or other households goods, such as furniture or appliances, they need. While not as common, there may be cases in which Project GRACE will issue vouchers so that people can receive free clothing from the Thrift Store. This is mostly for people from Cumberland County that have been impacted by a disaster, such as fire, or that meet a limited number of other conditions.

Another thing that people should note is when they shop at the Thrift Store, they are in fact giving back to the community. When someone buys a shirt or any item, the money that changes hands will then be used by Project GRACE to fund the financial assistance programs they run. So the store allows people to make a difference in their local community.

 

 

 

Based on money raised from donations or even the thrift store above, there may be financial assistance available as well. Another source of funding for Project GRACE will be government grants. While this is available, any funds are very limited. Some uses of the money from the charity may be as follows.

  • Housing costs – A focus is on homeless prevention. So to this end, Project GRACE may assist with partial rent, mortgage, or utility bills.
  • Food – Gift cards for groceries, or the use of local Portland pantries may be arranged.
  • Support for job seekers – Whether it is clothing or a gasoline voucher, support may be available.

As noted, money is limited. So instead, the charity can direct applicants to a multitude of other programs. This can range from no-interest loans to cash assistance from the state. Project GRACE is a source of information on these resources. However, these other options are also very limited, and most residents will not be able to qualify.

Family Development is a tool used to prevent homelessness and break the cycle of poverty. The entire family can in fact enroll. The agency will support people on their journey to self-sufficiency, and they have a number of resources available to them to make this happen. Of particular focus is on ensuring children in Cumberland County are well cared for.

Project GRACE staff will perform an assessment. Based on the results, the next step of the process will involve a case management process. The staff members from Project GRACE will advocate for the client, and help them both develop and meet career goals.

Project GRACE Christmas and holiday programs range from Adopt-A-Family to free meals or boxes of food. Agencies across Portland work to ensure that lower income parents with children as well as seniors have some form of Christmas joy. This also relies on donations.

 

 

 

The program can even extend to other holidays, such as Thanksgiving. Qualified applicants will be given a free large dinner, gifts for children, and maybe items for each family member. There may also be shoes, coats and more. The sign up period will be very early, and any holiday programs are first come and served as well.

For more details or referrals to programs, call 1-866-811-5695 for information.

 

 

 

 

 

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